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Episode 250 - Debt Free Wins & Woes

Have you ever wondered what it truly means to be debt-free and why so many people misunderstand the journey? Or why it's so hard to resist certain temptations, even when they sabotage our financial goals? In our 250th episode of the Debt Free Dad podcast, we unravel the biggest financial mistakes and the most triumphant victories that we've had, revealing the highs and lows of our financial journeys. We'll dive into impactful advice for those just starting and explore some of our favorite resources that can transform your financial life. Stay tuned!  


Reflecting on Our Financial Journeys 

Celebrating our 250th episode is surreal. Our podcast started around Christmas 2019, and it’s incredible to think about how far we've come. Chris and Katie couldn't join us today, but Amber, Ryan, and I were here from the start. It's been a tremendous journey, full of lessons and celebrations. One of the things we've realized over the years is the importance of understanding what people misunderstand the most about being debt-free. So, let's dive right into some common misconceptions and our experiences.  

Misconceptions About Being Debt-Free 

**Amber:** Many people think they’ll miss out on everything while paying off debt. They believe they’re going to be bored or they’ll never have any fun.  

**Ryan:** I agree. People often think being debt-free means sacrificing enjoyment forever. But those sacrifices are usually short-term. The process may not be fun, but the freedom afterward is incredible.  

**Brad:** Another big misunderstanding is that only people with huge incomes can be debt-free. Many believe it’s impossible to live without credit cards, car payments, or student loans on a normal income. But that’s far from the truth. It’s all about managing what you have effectively.  

Biggest Financial Mistakes 

**Amber:** My biggest mistake was getting my first credit card in college. It seemed harmless then but turned out to be a long journey of debt repayment.  

**Ryan:** For me, it was focusing too much on the math side of being in debt—consolidating and consolidating without dealing with the behavioral side. We spent years sabotaging ourselves by not addressing our spending habits.  

**Brad:** Not investing early is a major regret of mine. The power of compound interest is immense, and starting early can make a huge difference. It’s something I’m teaching my kids now.  

Biggest Financial Win 

**Amber:** Learning how to say no has been transformative for our finances.  

**Ryan:** Setting up our kids for financial success is my biggest win. My son graduated debt-free with a college degree, bought a car with cash, and started saving for retirement early.  

**Brad:** Apart from reaching debt freedom, my biggest win has been gaining patience and leading a more intentional life. It’s allowed me to focus on what truly matters without the pressure of financial stress. 

Advice for Getting Started 

**Amber:** When you start budgeting, remember to include a little money for fun. Cutting everything out can lead to burnout and make you give up.  

**Ryan:** Don’t focus on how long it’ll take. The years will pass regardless, and it’s better to be debt-free in the future than to be worse off.  

**Brad:** Just get started. Time is the one thing you can’t get back. Delaying action only makes things worse. Focus on small, consistent steps and the progress will follow.  

Resources That Made an Impact 

**Brad:** For me, Darren Hardy's book "The Compound Effect" has been incredibly influential. It emphasizes the impact of small, consistent actions over time, applying to all areas of life.  

**Ryan:** Two books that changed my perspective are "Stop Acting Rich" and "The Psychology of Money" by Morgan Housel. They helped me understand the behavioral and psychological aspects of money.  

**Amber:** I recommend listening to Ramit Sethi’s podcast. It shows people from all financial backgrounds and highlights the importance of staying motivated and grounded.  

Wrapping Up 

Celebrating 250 episodes is a testament to the power of sharing our journeys and learning from each other. Whether you’re just starting or are well on your way to debt freedom, we hope our experiences and advice inspire you to take control of your financial future. If you’d like to take your finances to the next level in as little as 30 to 60 days, head over to Debt Free Dad and click on the green button at the top of the page to get started today.  

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